The big story-line in comics for Batman and his surrounding characters has (for those who don't know) been the Batman R.I.P. story and its lead-ups, tie-ins, and follow-ups.
Grant Morrison came on as Batman writer in July 2006, and immediately started to lay the seeds for this, the first chapter of his Batman-opus. In breif, Bruce Wayne is put through hell by a mysterious organisation called The Black Glove, who eventually attack him menatally, physically and emotionally, bringing him to the brink of insanity and death. Bruce Wayne is however prepared for almost anything, and destroys the organisation as they celebrate his death.
This however weakened him for Final Crisis. In which, Batman is captured and tortured, before escaping and (skip small text to miss spoiler) is 'killed' as he breaks his one rule about not taking a life by killing the evil god Darkseid. I say 'killed' as people have told me that it is highly likely that the way in which he died actually trapped him in a perpetual cycle of horror, from which he may one day escape.
So Bruce Wayne is out of the picture, but not Batman. Coming in March is a mini-series called 'Battle for the Cowl' which will see Batman's allies challenging each other for the right to be the new Batman. The two top contenders are Nightwing (Dick Grayson, the original Robin, now mid-20s) and Robin (Tim Drake, 17). Both have their advantages, (Nightwing is more experienced, and physically a better fit - Robin is more intelligent and a better detective), but personally I think that a Tim Drake Batman would make for a more dramatic story, as he struggles to live up to his mentor.
All in all the Bat-books are making for great reading right now, we're in very exciting times.